IAB Before Blackthorn

When IAB first discovered Blackthorn, they were using four separate apps some native to Salesforce, others not to manage all aspects of ALM. Attendee and conference information was scattered across those platforms, resulting in inconsistent data and extra work for the IAB team. They also wanted to provide a seamless experience for conference attendees that facilitated better communication, planning, and time management.

Why IAB Chose Blackthorn

IAB needed smoother processes and communication for their attendees and event organizers. Blackthorn began building a complete event management experience, 100% native to Salesforce after identifying what IAB needed the most:

  • A central portal where their members could check-in and register for events
  • An iOS/Android mobile app, where members could network or meetup with each other at events
  • A central database to manage their unique processes in addition to events around certification, learning management, and others.

IAB’s Success

Blackthorn delivered on its promise with the first launch of the system and customized app in 2016. Since then, Blackthorn and IAB have worked together to improve the app and user experiences. In 2019, IAB, in partnership with Blackthorn, achieved significant milestones:

  • 4 popular event apps replaced – Fonteva, Cvent, Attendify, and is in the process of migrating off of Eventbrite.
  • 1,100 person conference delivered with Blackthorn Mobile Check-in and My IAB.
  • 626 meetup requests facilitated at the Direct Brand Summit through the mobile app.
  • Significantly reduced Integrations between systems, making overall management easier.
  • IAB gains one view of its members within Salesforce: All of the events they’ve attended, in-event meeting requests facilitated, and additional data related to a single Contact in Salesforce.

IAB plans to use only Blackthorn to deliver event experiences not only at the ALM but at all of the events they host throughout each year.

Blackthorn Stack and Features Used

Blackthorn Events – An event management application native to Salesforce. App features include:

Event organizers manage

  • Registration
  • Custom questions
  • Attendee matching
  • Speakers, sponsors and more
  • Sponsor advertising

Connection requests

  • A two-sided opt-in for attendees to connect with each other
  • Chat limiting/throttling to control how many requests someone can send
  • Chat request connections stored in Salesforce for post-event reporting on the most popular attendees

Push notifications

  • Initiated from Salesforce, Salesforce users can send push notifications to event attendees
  • Connection requests receive push notifications


  • Event Feed where attendees can post pictures, comment and like posts
  • Attendees can favorite sponsors, speakers, and sessions for quick access to their own agendas

Blackthorn Payments – A payment management application native to Salesforce. App enables event organizers to:

  • Charge and refund payments natively in Salesforce
  • Take payments by card and ACH
  • Send invoices to customers for larger payments

Watch IAB’s app in action

Reach out to us at sales+events@blackthorn.io. to watch a demo, ask questions, and help you get going on a free trial.